Thursday, October 11, 2012

VA-ALERT: VCDL Update 10/10/12

Not yet a VCDL member? Join VCDL at:
VCDL's meeting schedule:
Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:

1. VCDL welcomes two new Executive members!
2. Volunteers needed for VCDL table at Stafford Craft Fair on Oct. 13th
3. VCDL Membership Center Envelope Stuffing Party Sunday
4. ACTION ITEM: Round II of Goochland County Planning Commission meeting on sporting clays range on October 18
5. ACTION ITEM: Franklin County to consider repeal of gun ordinance on October 16
6. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis - more on her anti-liberty history
7. Interest in VCDL supper meeting in Marion?
8. Push to let college students carry guns picks up steam
9. Radford University willing to render students defenseless?
10. Who needs a gun on the UVA campus?
11. Public health experts reportedly targeting gun violence as "social disease"
12. Home invasion suspect shot outside of Radford home
13. Student shot at Northwest D.C. high school
14. Fire department may give firefighters, EMTs guns in face of rising violence
15. Group wants Newark, NJ, bodega employees to wear bulletproof vests, carry guns
16. 63-year-old cancer patient armed with shotgun holds off home intruders
17. Republicans want more heads to roll over 'Furious'
18. Gun inquiry urges action against 14 in Justice Dept.
19. Video: Media Matters working with Eric Holder?
20. Report: Gun sales may soar If Obama wins reelection
21. This PolitiChick is finally packin!
22. Virginia Pilot continues gun ownership photo series - looking for hunters now

1. VCDL welcomes two new Executive members!

VCDL welcomes two new Executive members into the fold: John Wilburn and Greg Trojan!

John has been a strong voice for VCDL and gun rights out in the Blacksburg area. He played a crucial role in organizing VCDL's "No guns, no funds!" protest in Virginia Tech. He's always looking for ways to promote VCDL.

Greg shows up at a majority of VCDL's events, from protests to picnics to the General Assembly to membership meetings to gun shows. If VCDL needs help with an event, Greg will be there. Last week VCDL leadership had a contingent in attendance at the Gun Rights Policy Conference in Orlando, Florida. (I had the honor of addressing the attendees on the status of gun rights at the state level.) And much to my surprise, in strolls Greg with a Guns Save Lives button on.

2. Volunteers needed for VCDL table at Stafford Craft Fair on Oct. 13th

Stafford Craft Fair - October 13th

Mount Ararat Baptist Church, 1112 Garrisonville Rd., Stafford, VA 22556

Saturday, October 13 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Please contact Bruce Jackson at in order to help in Stafford.

If you can't help, but you are in the neighborhood during those hours just stop by and say, "hello." Admission is free to all and we can always use the help.

3. VCDL Membership Center Envelope Stuffing Party Sunday

If you are interested in helping the new Membership Processing Center get through their backlog and have a couple of hours this Sunday, October 14th, Bruce Jackson is organizing an envelope stuffing party from 2pm to 5pm (Stafford/Fredericsburg area of the state).

Email Bruce if you have any time you can donate to the cause.

Bruce's email address is

4. ACTION ITEM: Round II of Goochland County Planning Commission meeting on sporting clays range on October 18

The Goochland Planning Commission is scheduled to have their next (and hopefully, the final) hearing on the proposed Orapax sporting clay range. A room full of range supporters would be very helpful.

The meeting is Thursday, October 18 at 7:00 PM at the Goochland government building at:

1800 Sandy Hook Road (intersection of Rt. 522 & Rt. 6)
Goochland, VA 23063

Carry is OK.

I'll have the usual rolls of Guns Save Lives stickers. See you there!

Announcement of meeting:

District 2

CU-2012-00005 Application filed by Andrew & Nancy Dykers requesting a Conditional Use Permit to allow shooting ranges located on Assessor's Parcel No. 41-1-0-4-0 (GPIN 6747-47-8303). The property is located at 3831 River Road West approximately .3 miles east of Rock Castle Road (Route 600) and consists of 672.6 acres of which four (4) acres will be used for the shooting range. The Conditional Use Permit is required by Article 2, Section 3.35 of the County Zoning Ordinance. The Comprehensive Plan shows this area suitable for rural enhancement area.

5. ACTION ITEM: Franklin County to consider repeal of gun ordinance on October 16

The Franklin County Board of Supervisors is holding a public hearing on REPEALING a preempted ordinance that purports to ban guns at any music or entertainment festival in the county. That ordinance was put in place back in 1981.

The meeting is at 6 PM on October 16
Franklin County Government Complex Board Room
1255 Franklin Street, Ste. 104
Rocky Mount, VA

I expect this to go smoothly, but if anyone can go and report back to me on what transpired, that would be great.

6. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis - more on her anti-liberty history

EM Matt Gottshalk put together all the following information on Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis's anti-liberty background. She is running for Lt. Governor against 6 other Republican contenders in a primary. Most of those contenders are good on guns, Ms. Davis is not:

For those of you who weren't around back in 2007 when she introduced a gun show 'loophole' bill, a little history:

Here is SB827 which she introduced in when she was a state senator:

And a play-by-play from a VA-Alert that shows how she hosted a "press conference" along with Million Mom March (MMM) and Virginians Against Handgun Violence (VAHV):

Below is a description and some media links from the VAHV press conference that VCDL was at.

John Pierce, the VCDL web master, has posted photos of Lobby Day and the videos from Senator Devolities Davis' press conference. One video shows anti-gunner Buford Scott of Scott & Stringfellow (I'm not doing business with that firm nor BB&T) saying that he ultimately wants to register all guns in America, using Canada as a model. [PVC: And he's been proven wrong on everything he said in the video, from what restrictions gun owners are willing to accept to the outcome of the upcoming election, where Ms. Davis lost decisively.]


Jim Sollo, president of VAHV does introduction:

Senator Devolites Davis (Senator DD) describes her bill to the press:

S. Buford Scott of Scott & Stringfellow spills the beans on the true agenda of VAHV - to give us complete gun registration like Canada (and which Canada is trying to get rid of ;-) ):

Question and answer session toward the end of the press conference.

A question was asked about who performed the 'study' that showed over 80% of people want more gun control.

Board member Bruce Jackson answers a question toward the end on the dealer's cost for a background check. A VCDL member raises his hand at the very end when asked if there are more questions. For a split second Senator Devolites-Davis almost calls on him, but then clarifies with, "From the PRESS." ;-)

7. Interest in VCDL supper meeting in Marion?

Board member Al Steed Jr. is trying to find out if there would be interest in having a VCDL supper meeting out in Marion, Virginia. He has found a nice restaurant that is willing to host the meeting.

If you are interested, send Al an email and let him know how many might attend if the meeting were held.

8. Push to let college students carry guns picks up steam

EM Dave Hicks emailed me this:


From Wall Street Journal:

By Joe Palazzolo & Steve Eder
September 21, 2012


At more college campuses across the country, students are winning the right to pack a gun.

Many colleges have long been allowed to make their own decisions about whether students can carry firearms on campus, and most still forbid it. But gun-rights advocates working through the courts and state legislatures have managed to secure a significant expansion of gun rights at public universities.

Students are now permitted by law to carry guns on public campuses in five states four more than two years ago.

The movement to ease gun restrictions on college campuses gained momentum after the 2007 killings at Virginia ...

9. Radford University willing to render students defenseless?

Meanwhile some universities are moving forward on student carry, embracing the Constitution, Radford steps backward.

John Pierce emailed me this:


From Monachus Lex:

From Monachus Lex
By John Pierce
September 18, 2012

"[Denying teachers, administrators, adult-students, and visitors the right to carry at the university] will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus."

- Virginia Tech VP Larry Hincker

This quote never fails to make my blood boil.

It is the perfect example of feel-good legislation that makes for good sound bites while actually harming those it purports to protect. And I have to believe that he knew it was less-than useless even as he was speaking. You will note that he was very careful to use the phrase "feel safe" rather than any assurance of actual safety.

Because it certainly didn't make them "actually safe." Just a little over a year later, on a cold, sad Monday in April, Virginia Tech senior Seung Hui Cho went on a rampage that cost the lives of 32 of the Commonwealth's best and brightest young people and sent a nation into mourning.

One of those we lost was Leslie Sherman. Last year, on the 5th anniversary of Cho's attack, Leslie's mother Holly Adams courageously spoke out about what could have been done to protect her daughter and the other innocents at Virginia Tech that day. And she laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who denied the right to self-defense on campus.

"Because professors, staff and students are precluded from protecting themselves on campus, Cho, a student at Virginia Tech himself, was able to simply walk on campus and go on a killing rampage with no worry that anyone would stop him."

And a jury agreed with her, holding that a university has a "special relationship" with students such that the students can expect to be reasonably protected. In such a case, forbidding such basic personal protection options to students will almost certainly give rise to future lawsuits against Virginia's colleges and universities.

But despite the harsh lesson learned at Virginia Tech and the very real threat of future lawsuits, more and more of Virginia's public colleges and universities have been passing regulations banning carry on campus after Attorney General Cuccinelli issued an opinion that university policies do not overrule state-issued concealed carry permits but properly promulgated regulations, which have the force and effect of law, do.

Since then, we have seen a flood of public colleges and universities passing regulations to the extent allowed under Digiacinto v. The Rector and Visitors of George Mason University. And it isn't hard for them to do so. Virginia gives colleges and universities fast-track regulatory powers that they have used to great effect in ramming these regulations through with little or no due process or public comment.

And that brings us to today's update. Sadly, last Friday, the Radford University Board of Visitors voted to join this trend. The vote was 9 to 5 with Rectors Linda K. Whitley-Taylor, Nancy Artis, Brandon Bell, Mary Waugh Campbell, Sandra Davis, Kevin Dye, Darius Johnson, Ruby Rogers, and Georgia Ann Snyder-Falkinham voting in favor of the ban.

The regulation will go into effect as soon as the final regulation is published in the Virginia Register.

10. Who needs a gun on the UVA campus?

Another university living in the past.

Edward Martin emailed me this:


To members of the University community:

On Monday, Sept. 17, 2012, a University of Virginia student reported that he was robbed on Saturday, Sept. 15, at approximately 11:45 p.m. near 173 Culbreth Road. The victim reported that he was walking on Culbreth toward his residence when he was somehow rendered unconscious. Friends later found him lying on the grass outside his residence, bruised and disoriented. The victim believes that some cash also had been stolen.

The victim was unable to provide any description of the suspect(s).

Anyone having information related to this incident should call the University Police at 434-924-7166 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

While Charlottesville remains a relatively safe environment, crimes do occur in our community. The best defense is to be prepared and to take responsibility for your own safety and for that of your friends and fellow students. A few key reminders:

*We encourage members of the public to promptly report any criminal and suspicious activity immediately by calling 911.

*Police urge members of the community to remain alert and aware of potential dangers. As you walk, take notice of your surroundings. Are there people around? What are they doing and wearing? Are there any physical characteristics that might help identify them? What is their direction of travel?

*Avoid cell phone conversations, listening to music or engaging in other activities that distract your attention from your surroundings.

*In the event of an incident, the information you provide and the timeliness of the information you provide to police will help them identify the suspect(s).

Michael Gibson, Chief of University Police approved distribution of this message.

11. Public health experts reportedly targeting gun violence as "social disease"

Scott Hight emailed me this:


From Facebook:

September 19, 2012

Posted in Gun Owners of Maine

(The Blaze/AP) - Is a gun like a virus, tobacco or alcohol? According to "public health experts," who in the wake of recent mass shootings are calling for a fresh look at gun violence as a "social disease," it is.

What we need, they say, is a "public health approach" to the problem.

Dr. Garen Wintemute of University of California, Davis claims it is no longer enough to tackle gun violence by focusing solely on the people doing the shooting. Dr. Stephen Hargarten, who treated victims of the Sikh temple shootings at the emergency department he heads in Milwaukee, feels the same way.

"What I'm struggling with is, is this the new social norm?" he asked, before asserting: "This is what we're going to have to live with if we have more personal access to firearms."

He continued: "We have a public health issue to discuss. Do we wait for the next outbreak or is there something we can do to prevent it?"

About 260 million to 300 million firearms are owned by civilians in the United States; about one-third of American homes have one. Last year, 55 percent of Americans said gun laws should either remain the same or become more lenient.

Certain elements of the "public health approach" to gun control include:

-"Host" factors: What makes someone more likely to shoot, or someone more likely to be a victim. One recent study found firearm owners are more likely than those with no firearms at home to binge drink or drink and drive, the AP reports.

-Disease patterns, observing how a problem spreads. Gun ownership - a precursor to gun violence - can spread "much like an infectious disease circulates," said Daniel Webster, a health policy expert and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research in Baltimore.

"There's sort of a contagion phenomenon" after a shooting, where people feel they need to have a gun for protection or retaliation, he said.

If gun control is now part of "public health," will it become the responsibility of the government to monitor the issue like any other "infectious disease"?

One commenter wrote that he would prefer if the "experts" stuck to medicine, rather than trying to "socially engineer" our way to a healthier society.

Associated Press writer Pete Yost in Washington contributed to this report.

12. Home invasion suspect shot outside of Radford home


September 17, 2012

RADFORD, Va. - A man is in critical condition after a shooting in Radford.

Police got a call around 1:20 a.m. Monday morning that someone was beating on the windows and trying to get into a home on PT Travis Avenue. When our crew arrived on the scene, windows had been broken and there was blood in front of the home.

While officers were on their way they found out that someone inside that home had shot at that man several times.

When officers got there the man was gone.

Later Monday morning 42-year-old Lee Green Junior showed up at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Green used to live in Radford, and police say he knew the people inside the home on PT Travis Avenue.

Green is listed in critical condition.

So far no charges have been filed against anyone involved.

13. Student shot at Northwest D.C. high school

Another Gun-Free-Killing-Zone in action.

Bill Hine emailed me this:


From WTOP:

September 19, 2012

WASHINGTON - A student was shot at Coolidge High School in Northwest D.C. after school let out on Wednesday afternoon.

D.C. police say the shooting was between two students who had argued verbally earlier in the day. After that argument, authorities say one student left the building and then came back after school, when the shooting occurred on school grounds.

The victim was taken to a hospital and was conscious and breathing with injuries to his lower body. His injuries not life-threatening.

Officials have not released any information on the age of the students or what year they were.

Police have one suspect in custody.

14. Fire department may give firefighters, EMTs guns in face of rising violence

I hope more and more fire departments wake up to the reality that: 1) it is dangerous out there, with EMTs and firemen often arriving before the police and 2) the lives of EMTs and firemen are precious, just like all innocent life, and need to be protected.

Mike G emailed me this:


Philip Mulivor, spokesman for Ohioans for Concealed Carry and a former New York paramedic, said he thinks EMTs and paramedics should be allowed to carry concealed firearms, because they should not have to fear for their own safety while providing life-saving treatment.

From FireRescue1:

By Cornelius Frolik
September 14, 2012

GERMAN TOWNSHIP, Ohio A debate is ramping up over whether to let EMTs and firefighters carry guns on the job.

Some emergency medical services workers say they now routinely face more violent patients and dangerous situations. But the prospect of armed emergency medical technicians worries critics who question whether guns would improve their safety or lead to other problems.

Tim Holman, chief of German Twp. Fire and EMS in Clark County, said he is weighing pros and cons of allowing his paramedics and emergency medical technicians to carry concealed handguns on the job.

He said they encounter belligerent and unpredictable people, and police are not always immediately available to subdue or arrest troublemakers.

Holman in September 2011 hosted a forum at the EMS World Expo in Las Vegas called, "Is it time to arm our EMTs?"

He said some EMS departments across the country are considering arming their crews, because the job is becoming more dangerous and there has been a string of violent and deadly attacks on medical responders.

"It is a hot topic, and I am trying to make it a hotter topic, because it is something that needs to be looked at because we cannot depend on law enforcement to protect us," he said.

But critics said medical first-responders do not have the training to act as police officers, and learning how to avoid and escape violent situations would make EMS workers safer and make more sense than equipping them with lethal weapons.

Holman said EMT safety is a major problem, and there have been many attacks on first-responding medical professionals across the country.

On Sunday, an EMT in Fort Wayne, Ind., was injured after he was struck by bullet fragments when his ambulance was shot 17 times while transporting a stabbing victim, according to news reports. In June, an ambulance that was responding to a shooting in Houston was shot at least four times by the suspect, authorities said. In March 2011, a motorist pulled out a gun and unloaded on first responders at the scene of a Long Island car crash. Police eventually shot and killed the gunman, but medic crews had to hide behind an ambulance to avoid gunfire.

Support growing
Holman said he twice has stared down the barrel of a gun after responding to requests for medical assistance. He said members of his department have been punched and assaulted, and EMS workers nationally are increasingly targeted by vicious gangs, anti-government extremists, unpredictable criminals and intoxicated or infuriated people. He said carrying a concealed weapon could give EMS workers the ability to protect themselves against potentially fatal attacks.

Holman said he is simply studying the issue, and he does not expect that his EMS crews will pack heat anytime soon.

German Twp. trustees would have to change the township's policy forbidding public employees from carrying guns on the job, and trustees have not discussed the issue.

"At this time, I really do not have an opinion about this," said Trustee Charles Metzger. "It may come to that someday... but I can tell you that any kind of decision will be way down the road."

But Holman's proposal has garnered support.

Philip Mulivor, spokesman for Ohioans for Concealed Carry and a former New York paramedic, said he thinks EMTs and paramedics should be allowed to carry concealed firearms, because they should not have to fear for their own safety while providing life-saving treatment.

"First responders face many dangers, and they can be both unpredictable and severe, and I don't see why we should deprive them of the ability to protect themselves in life-threatening situations," Mulivor said. "It would be particularly sad if we had a firefighter or paramedic God forbid lose their lives because they did not have the same means to defend themselves that any other law-abiding citizen in Ohio can have."

Law enforcement officers are dispatched to emergencies at the same time as EMS crews when dispatchers identify safety concerns, and medical responders stay away from dangerous scenes until police arrive and secure the areas, said Dr. James Brown, chairman of emergency medicine at the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University.

But he said incomplete information about the nature of the emergencies and unpredictable people at the scenes mean that medical first-responders are sometimes put in potentially life-threatening situations, and police cannot respond to every scene.

"In this day and age, I would feel better if I was armed if I was them," Brown said. "I would be supportive of any chief who felt the circumstances were such that they needed to go that route."

He said medical first-responders would need additional training to handle firearms in crisis situations, to learn how to properly and effectively react when confronted with imminent danger. He said EMTs and paramedics have inherently dangerous jobs, and violence against all health care workers is on the rise.

About 60 percent of nonfatal assaults and violent acts in the U.S. workforce occurred in the health care and social assistance industry, and three-fourths of these assaults were by health care patients and residents of health care facilities, according to an August 2010 report by the U.S. Department of Labor that analyzed data from 2003 to 2007.

A health care worker or social assistance employee is almost five times more likely to be a victim of a nonfatal assault or violent act than the average worker in all industries combined, the report said. Assaults and violent acts were the second leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in those industries in 2007, behind only transportation incidents, and one-quarter of the 134 people who were killed on the job that year died as a result of violence.

Lack of training
But some members of the EMS community said it is not a good idea to mix EMS responsibilities and handguns.

EMS workers operate in dangerous environments, but they do not have the training or legal right to act as police officers, said Kip Teitsort, a veteran police officer and paramedic in Missouri who teaches a nationally recognized defensive-tactics class titled "Escaping Violent Encounters for EMS and Fire."

Police officers try to bring suspects and attackers under control by using less-lethal force, and they draw their guns only as a last resort, Teitsort said. Unless armed EMS workers go through the same training as police officers, they will have only concealed firearms at their disposal for protection, which could result in a deadly mistake, he said.

"I am fully for people carrying guns, but I am just not for EMS providers carrying guns on scene," he said.

Teitsort said EMS departments need to invest in training their workers how to defuse dangerous situations and escape attacks. He said his classes teach EMS workers how the brain works during a crisis, what to expect during an attack, how to avoid and retreat from dangerous scenarios, and how to document the encounters.

About 71 instructors nationwide teach Teitsort's classes, including Lt. Jeffrey Susong, a paramedic with the Dayton Fire Department.

Susong said police must go through intense training about when to use deadly force, and medical first responders should not have to make such decisions. He said EMS workers should just focus on providing treatment, and if a dangerous situation arises, they should know how to mitigate or retreat from the threat.

"I don't believe that putting a gun in our hands is necessary," he said. "I'd like to think that when people call us, they know we are not aggressors and we are there to help."

The Ohio Department of Public Safety's Division of EMS said implementing policies that would allow EMTs, paramedics or firefighters to carry concealed weapons would have to happen at the local level. Local EMS departments contacted for this article said they have policies that forbid employees from carrying weapons, and they support the policies.

Last month, The Columbus Dispatch reported that 10 of the 14 firefighters who carry city-issued firearms were not certified by the state, and city officials took some of the guns out of service because the department lacked a use-of-force policy.

German Twp. Police Chief Bill Dickerson said he has "mixed feelings" about the concept of arming EMTs, and he doubts his township will have armed EMS workers anytime soon.

"I have all kinds of questions that I don't have the answers to," he said.

15. Group wants Newark, NJ, bodega employees to wear bulletproof vests, carry guns

Wow - now THIS is my kind of company!

From The Washington Post:

September 21, 2012

NEWARK, N.J. - A group representing bodega owners is calling for workers in Newark's stores to wear bulletproof vests.

The Bodega Association of the U.S. wants employees in the New Jersey city to wear the vests to protect themselves from robbers and violence.

Association president Fernando Mateo also wants workers to apply to carry firearms.

Mateo met with Mayor Cory Booker earlier this week to discuss his proposal. A Booker spokesman didn't immediately comment.

The meeting came after the murder of 18-year-old Jamil Bader, Jr. He was shot last week while working at his family's store.

A Bronx bodega worker was killed by a police bullet earlier this month.

Reynaldo Cuevas collided with an officer after fleeing from robbers.

Mateo wants to convene a meeting of mayors from New Jersey's largest cities to discuss bodega worker safety.

16. 63-year-old cancer patient armed with shotgun holds off home intruders

Guns Save Lives

Charles Losik emailed me this:


From The Blaze:

By Madeleine Morgenstern
September 22, 2012

A 63-year-old man with stage 4 lymphoma used a shotgun to hold off two intruders who broke into his home.

Dixon Smith of Laketon Township, Mich. told he confronted the two men just before noon on Thursday after he heard them talking downstairs shortly after his wife left to go shopping. He grabbed the gun and waited as they made it up to the second floor.

"They made it almost to the top stair. I came out and told them to lay down," Smith told MLive.

He made them lie still while he dialed 911 and waited for police to arrive - "kind of a long five to 10 minutes, though," he said. He said he spent the time talking to the two men and warning them not to try anything, which they didn't. He said they were both wearing backpacks.

"I really tried to be as forceful as possible," said Smith, whose cancer is currently in remission. "I didn't want them to get me into a conversation. You can't let them get too close to where they can grab the gun."

According to WOOD-TV, Alex Andrew Dickerson, 26, and James Leon Polk, 27, were each charged with first-degree home invasion Friday.

Smith said he and his wife know Polk and have tried to help him over the years, even taking him on a trip to Florida when he was a teenager. Smith said he believes the man became a drug addict, and he and his wife suspect him of stealing other things from the home in the past, including cash and his cancer medication.

Smith said police believe the two picked the front door lock with a credit card and that they found a chair in the woods outside used for staking out the home.

"It's not a fun experience," Smith told WOOD. "You don't really know what's really going on and it's not, it's not what you might think. It's not like the movies, you know it's pretty serious when you're holding a gun on somebody."

He continued, "You don't know if they're gonna pull a gun out or try to take your gun away from you or get you in a corner when you're forced to shoot them. And I was trying to keep that from happening."

He told the station he'd prefer the two get rehab rather than harsh jail sentences.

"Something that would straighten him out," he said. "But what are you going to do?"

17. Republicans want more heads to roll over 'Furious'

Bill Hine emailed me this:


From FOX News:

September 20, 2012

Republican lawmakers want more heads to roll over Operation Fast and Furious after a report faulted multiple agencies for letting the failed anti-gunrunning probe get out of hand -- as they cited a key section that appeared to contradict testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder.

One Justice Department official has resigned and another has retired in the wake of the inspector general report. Another 14 officials were forwarded for possible disciplinary action.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said at a hearing Thursday where Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified that "all 14" should leave the department.

Other lawmakers suggested senior officials -- particularly criminal division chief Lanny Breuer -- should at least face discipline. Further, they hammered the point that the IG report appeared to contradict Holder's testimony earlier this year in which he said wiretap applications did not reveal that gunwalking tactics were being used.

The complaints signaled that, while lawmakers on both sides of the aisle claim to be pleased with the extensiveness of the IG report, Republican critics will continue to push for more documents and more discipline in the wake of the Fast and Furious scandal.

"Sadly, the Department of Justice was not vindicated," said Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. "I just ... can't imagine a headline that reads ... 'passengers charged with speeding, driver exonerated'."

The report faulted a range of agencies and accused officials of a "disregard" for public safety. It marked the most comprehensive account yet on the deadly operation which allowed weapons to "walk" across the U.S.-Mexico border and resulted in hundreds of firearms turning up at crime scenes in both countries.

The report said Holder was not made aware of potential flaws in the program until February of last year.

But Gowdy and other lawmakers pointed to a section of the findings that said a round of wiretap applications should have raised "red flags" for those who reviewed them -- despite Holder's claims to the contrary earlier this year.

The report said: "We reviewed the wiretap affidavits in both Operation Wide Receiver and

Operation Fast and Furious and concluded that the affidavits in both cases included information that would have caused a prosecutor who was focused on the question of investigative tactics, particularly one who was already sensitive to the issue of 'gun walking,' to have questions about ATF's conduct of the investigations," the report said.

Horowitz repeated that claim Thursday, saying: "If you were focused and looking at the question of gunwalking you would read these reports and see many red flags."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said Holder's testimony from earlier this year was a "direct contradiction" to that.

Holder said at the time: "I've looked at these affidavits. I've looked at these summaries. There's nothing in those affidavits as I've reviewed them that indicates that gunwalking was allowed. Let's get to the bottom line -- so I didn't see anything in there that would put on notice a person who was reviewing either at the line level or at the deputy assistant attorney general level, that you would have knowledge of the fact that these inappropriate tactics were being used."

Gowdy said that in light of that testimony, the IG's conclusion was "startling."

But a Justice Department official said Holder's statements to Congress were accurate, noting that, "the affidavits do not explicitly and clearly say gun-walking" and claiming the IG report doesn't allege that either.

Gowdy also questioned how employees under Breuer were being disciplined while Breuer so far has not been in any serious way.

"How does he escape discipline?" Gowdy asked.

The IG report criticized Breuer for not notifying Holder about Operation Wide Receiver, the prior Bush-era gunwalking investigation, when he first learned about it in 2010.

A DOJ official told Fox News that Breuer was "admonished" by Holder last year, but no further action is considered to be warranted.

An employee under Breuer -- Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division -- resigned after the IG investigation. The report marked him as the highest-ranking DOJ employee in a position to stop the program, though Weinstein disputed that conclusion.

Holder said in a statement that those found responsible for roles in the operation "have been referred to the appropriate entities for review and consideration of potential personnel actions." The department said it could not reveal more details at this time.

On Capitol Hill Thursday, lawmakers and the inspector general joined in assailing the entire operation as misguided and poorly supervised.
Horowitz testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about a "pattern of serious failures" with the program.
Horowitz testified that "no one responsible for the case" in the U.S. attorney's office or Phoenix division of ATF "raised a serious question or concern" about the operation. Further, he said investigators found no "persuasive evidence" that supervisors raised concerns about the safety risk or the delay in arresting people who were buying and trafficking these firearms.

Horowitz also criticized flaws in Operation Wide Receiver, the Bush administration-era predecessor to Fast and Furious.

"The risk to the public safety was immediately evident in both investigations," he said.

The Fast and Furious program caught the attention of Congress and the rest of the country after weapons from Fast and Furious were found at the crime scene of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

"Operation Fast and Furious is a poster child for what you don't do with deadly weapons," Issa said Thursday.

He added that "nothing in this report vindicates anyone."

"If you touched, looked, could have touched, could have looked, could have asked for information that could have caused you to intervene ... and you didn't," he said, "you fell short of your responsibility."

18. Gun inquiry urges action against 14 in Justice Dept.

Perry Hecker emailed me this:


From The New York Times:

By Charlie Savage
September 19, 2012

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department's inspector general on Wednesday issued a scathing critique of federal officials for their handling of the botched gun-trafficking case known as Operation Fast and Furious, but essentially exonerated Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., whom many Republicans have blamed for the scandal.

In a long-awaited report, the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, laid primary blame on what he portrayed as a dysfunctional and poorly supervised group of Arizona-based federal prosecutors and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, describing them as "permeated" by "a series of misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and management failures" that allowed a risky strategy to continue despite the danger to public safety.

The long-running controversy over Operation Fast and Furious, which ran from late 2009 to early 2011, stemmed from the fact that the A.T.F. officials directing it did not act swiftly to seize illegal weapons because they hoped to bring a bigger case against the organizers of a gun-smuggling network linked to a Mexican drug gang. The officials eventually lost track of hundreds of weapons, including two that were found near the site of where a Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, was killed in a shootout.

The 471-page report is likely to be the closest definitive accounting of the operation, which has been the source of continuing confrontation between Congressional Republicans and the Obama administration, including a House vote to cite Mr. Holder for contempt in June.

For more than a year, some Republicans and commentators on conservative news media outlets have floated theories that senior Obama officials must have approved the operation - deliberately fostering gun violence to provide a rationale for strengthening gun-control laws - and that they were engaged in a cover-up.

The inspector general's investigation found no evidence to support those accusations.

Still, it faulted several Justice Department officials for related failures, including not recognizing what should have been red flags about the way Operation Fast and Furious was unfolding and failing to follow up on information about both it and a similar 2006 case called Operation Wide Receiver. In the earlier case, Arizona-based A.T.F. agents also used "the tactic of failing to seize firearms despite having a sufficient legal basis to do so" in the hope of identifying more dangerous criminals.

Among other things, the report faulted several higher-level Justice Department officials for not asking more questions, focusing in particular on Jason Weinstein, an assistant deputy attorney general who had learned about the Operation Wide Receiver case in the spring of 2010 and who signed off on several wiretap applications for Operation Fast and Furious that, the report said, should have alerted him to ask more questions and raise alarms.

Mr. Weinstein resigned on Wednesday. He portrayed himself in his letter of resignation as a scapegoat.

"I recognize that, in the dynamic of internal investigations of this nature, particularly when they become enmeshed in politicized Congressional hearings, it is virtually inevitable that someone must be singled out for blame, whether the facts support it or not," Mr. Weinstein said in his letter. "That is what the inspector general's report has done with regard to me here."

Another official, Kenneth E. Melson, who was acting director of the A.T.F. at the time of the gun operation, retired on Wednesday.

Mr. Holder has already reassigned all the major A.T.F. officials associated with the case, including Mr. Melson and William Newell, the special agent in charge of the A.T.F.'s field office in Phoenix, whom the report found "bore ultimate responsibility for the failures in Operation Fast and Furious."

The report singled out the actions of 17 officials - two of whom have resigned - for a closer look, recommending that most be reviewed for possible discipline or administrative action.

A department official said Mr. Holder has admonished one Justice Department official who has also attracted Congressional scrutiny: Lanny A. Breuer, chief of the department's criminal division. The report criticized him for not alerting Mr. Holder when he learned in 2010 that guns had reached criminals as a result of Operation Wide Receiver - something that Mr. Breuer has acknowledged and apologized for.

But, the official said, Mr. Holder planned no further action against Mr. Breuer, or against two top aides whom the report criticized for not doing more in December 2010 when they learned that two firearms found at the Terry murder scene were connected to an A.T.F. gun-trafficking investigation.

Mr. Holder said on Wednesday that he had referred several A.T.F. officials and Arizona-based prosecutors for disciplinary review, but that he could not say more because of the Privacy Act. He also essentially declared himself to have been vindicated.

"It is unfortunate that some were so quick to make baseless accusations before they possessed the facts about these operations - accusations that turned out to be without foundation and that have caused a great deal of unnecessary harm and confusion," he said.

But Representative Darrell Issa, the California Republican who has led the Congressional oversight investigation into the matter and has been among Mr. Holder's most outspoken critics, also portrayed the report as his own vindication. He focused in particular on the wiretap applications signed by Mr. Weinstein, the details of which, Mr. Issa had claimed, had put Mr. Weinstein in a position to know about the tactics used in Operation Fast and Furious. The inspector general agreed.

"Contrary to the denials of the attorney general and his political defenders in Congress, the investigation found that information in wiretap applications approved by senior Justice Department officials in Washington did contain red flags showing reckless tactics and faults Attorney General Eric Holder's inner circle for their conduct," Mr. Issa said.

It was the first major report by Mr. Horowitz, whose office had access to tens of thousands of documents that were not made available to Congressional investigators. Those documents included internal e-mails from 2011 over which President Obama had asserted executive privilege and which Mr. Holder had refused to provide in response to a subpoena.

One section of the report cites extensively from those e-mails, showing how Justice Department officials struggled to understand the truth about Operation Fast and Furious after they had sent a letter to Congress on Feb. 4 that falsely said the A.T.F. had made every effort to seize weapons. A department official said it sent Congress about 300 pages of such documents on Wednesday.

Mr. Horowitz's staff also spoke to more than 130 officials, some of whom had not been interviewed by Congress. They included former Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey, who Mr. Horowitz found did not know about failures to immediately seize illegal weapons in the Operation Wide Receiver case, and several low-ranking prosecutors whom the department had declined to make available.

19. Video: Media Matters working with Eric Holder?

Not what Media Matters is supposed to be doing: working WITH the Justice Department to help spin the department's political image. That includes trying to diffuse the Fast and Furious furor.

Bill Watkins emailed me this:


From FOX News:

20. Report: Gun sales may soar If Obama wins reelection

Board member Bruce Jackson emailed me this:


From Huffington Post:

September 16, 2012

President Obama and the Democrats won't be the only big winners if he's reelected in November.

Gun retailers and manufacturers are expecting a significant rise in gun sales if the president remains in the White House for a second term, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That's because some perceive the Obama administration to be a threat to gun rights, although the WSJ notes that "there haven't been any substantial changes to gun-control laws under Mr. Obama."

Gun sales increased sharply following Obama's election in 2008. Between November 3 and 9 -- the week Obama was elected -- the FBI had a more than 48 percent increase in requests for background checks for gun purchases than it received during the same period the previous year, CNN reported at the time.

"I think there's going to be an attack to some degree on the gun owners," Lloyd Clement, a gun owner from New Hampshire, told CNN in 2008.

But, according to the Associated Press, Obama "[h]as not pushed for gun control measures as president" and has signed legislation increasing the number of places -- namely, Amtrak trains and national parks -- where people can have concealed weapons.

The Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence actually gave the president an "F" grade in 2010.

For his part, Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, says on his website that he "strongly supports the right of all law-abiding Americans to exercise their constitutionally protected right to own firearms and to use them for lawful purposes, including hunting, recreational shooting, self-defense, and the protection of family and property."

This isn't the first time that the president has been linked to an increase in firearm sales. In February,, an online ammunition retailer, called President Obama the "greatest gun salesman in America."

"President Obama's perceived hostility towards gun owners has been one of the key factors behind the multi-year financial boom the firearms industry continues to enjoy," wrote on its website at the time.

The WSJ has detailed figures from gun manufacturers and spoke to the NRA about why a second Obama term could be different than a first, so click over to the WSJ to read more.

21. This PolitiChick is finally packin!


Youtube video:

22. Virginia Pilot continues gun ownership photo series - looking for hunters now

Several VCDL members have been featured in a photo series on gun ownership running in the Virginian-Pilot recently. They are expanding the series and are looking for hunters (preferably families) in SOUTHEAST Virginia.

I got this new request via email from Ross Taylor (who is doing the photo series for the Pilot):

The ownership series is now running each week in Sunday's paper with a weblink that allows for additional pictures when we are able. If you don't get our paper you can see it online here:

I wanted to ask one other favor in helping make a connection if possible. I wanted highlight the familial tradition of hunting (it can be any class: deer, waterfowl, turkey bear, etc.). Ideally it would be best to go with a family, or folks who are trying to share their tradition with their son/daughter/grandson.

Here are Saturdays coming up that I would be available, somewhere in southeast Virginia.

20th, 27th

3rd, 10th, 17th 24th

Thanks for any help you can provide! It doesn't have to be just one, either - if there were 2-3 options I'm open on going out several times with different folks if we can swing it.

VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
(VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

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